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Step Up Your Teamwork


By John M. Malecky April, 2019

Step Up Your Teamwork
By Frank Viscuso

Available from:
FSP Books & Videos
188 Central Street, #4
Hudson, MA 01749-1330

Price: $71.00 (BS 8009)

This is a Fire Engineering book, hard cover, 6 inches by 9 inches with 300 pages. There are several black & white photos that illustrate the author’s teaching. The author is a retired deputy chief from the Kearny, NJ Fire Department. I first met him when he was the training captain. I also reviewed another book he wrote named “Common Valor”, which is a group of heroic stories of firefighters, one of which was from my hometown fire department of Bayonne, NJ.

The book is a welcomed addition to the subject of management, supervision and training that comes from a fire service related source. When I was on the job and studying for promotion we did not have books that were fire service related until Fire Engineering published Management in the Fire Service by David Gratz, who was a chief in Maryland. I do not want to mislead the reader to think that the rest of the books were not effective, but they dealt with the business world. The fact is that a human being’s management and supervision is the same no matter where he or she is employed. It was a matter of adapting the content of these books to the fire service.

Frank’s book is five intensive chapters with numerous subtitles. They are 'Teamwork in the Fire Service,' 'Preparing for Success,' 'Leading Teams,' 'Preventing Team Collapse' and 'Building Your Legacy'. He has put what appears to be countless hours into research, recounting of experience and just plain analysis of human behavior. He has developed a “writing high” where thoughts just jump into your brain as you compose each subject, kind of like mystery writers might to make their books more interesting.

As you read the different chapters you may find yourself agreeing with the author’s observations as you recall your own experiences. In a day when the fire service is faced with members of all types who are on the job for one reason or another and who have differing attitudes as to their being a good firefighter or simply tolerating their career until retirement, this book will give you the ammunition to get the best out of them, help them to gain interest and give the best they can to the people they protect.

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John MaleckySenior Columnist

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